5 Replies Latest reply on May 9, 2006 6:21 AM by Kevin Elmore

    R$obohelp x5 htmlhelp word ... what?

    Bruce4800
      Basic questions here .... :-) .... I installed RoboHelp X5, and I have a project that generates HTML Help (a .chm file). During installation, I recall that it detected my PC has Word 2003, .... and my questions are: a) When you say "X5", what does that encompass? b) I use a Robo html editor, but what would I use Word for? c) I want other members of the team to edit some topic files. What editor can/must they use? d) Can you point me to a web page that describes the multi-author capabilities of X5, especially the situation where one person has the X5 license and other people just want to edit individual topics. Thx.
        • 1. Re: R$obohelp x5 htmlhelp word ... what?
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
          Hi bmerenbloom

          Your message almost seems to be a reply to another thread. Is it?

          In case it isn't, X5 simply refers to the latest version of RoboHelp Office. RoboHelp Office includes RoboHelp for Word (Where Microsoft Word is used as the content editor) and RoboHelp HTML. So as you can see, there are many possible outputs. Additionally, both RoboFlavors output printed documentation. This usually results in a Microsoft Word .DOC file. This is why you need Word.

          As for what your other users need to use? That's up to you. You can go the route of purchasing, installing, configuring and using Contribute (the process is outlined in this link, or you can simply allow them to create documents using Word, FrontPage, Dreamweaver, Homesite or any other editor they are comfortable with. Then they hand you the documents and you make them work with RoboHelp. I would, however, avoid allowing them to use Word, as you will probably see many icky issues result from this mix.

          RoboHelp X5 is "multi-author" if you link it to a source control system. These beasties are basically a combination of a librarian and a traffic cop. Each participant in the source control system has a unique login and password. Each user checks out a section of the help system. Others can't edit the same folder or project until the original person checks it back in. I used to work in a setup where we had Microsoft Visual Source Safe (VSS). It was dandy for this, as the main content person can configure folders so that contributors only have a limited access to their section. Even then, you can set it up so they can add files, but not delete them.

          Hmmm, not sure if I can think of a web page outlining the multi-author capabilities of X5. At least, not other than fellow ACE Peter's site where I linked earlier. Hmmm, I poked around and maybe this link will help:
          Click here to see the information

          Cheers... Rick
          • 2. R$obohelp x5 htmlhelp word ... what?
            ElisaFnord Level 2
            Just to add a bit, you will not find any such multi-authoring web page from RoboHelp. Everybody who works on the RoboHelp project must have a seat license. They want you to buy seat licenses - that's how they make their living.

            Note the wording here - "works on the RoboHelp project." Like Rick said, anybody can work on the HTML topic files, provided you use good source control practices.

            What's limited by the RoboHelp license?

            The licenseholder is the only person who can generate RoboHelp in any of the proprietary RH help formats (that's essentially everything but WinHelp and HTMLHelp).

            The licenseholder is the only person who has a hope of generating decent printed documentation from RoboHelp topic files.
            On a day-to-day basis, the licenseholder should be making all the TOC and index changes for the group. (There are ways around this, but they aren't exactly pretty, and it's not too much trouble to do them yourself.)

            The licenseholder should have sole access to the context-sensitive functionality and mapping, for the same reasons.

            Your other authors can edit existing topic HTML files. They can create new topics in Word or HTML that you can import for them. They can do the writing - but it isn't help 'till you say it's help.

            Elisa
            • 3. Re: R$obohelp x5 htmlhelp word ... what?
              Kevin Elmore Level 1
              quote:

              Originally posted by: Captiv8r
              Then they hand you the documents and you make them work with RoboHelp. I would, however, avoid allowing them to use Word, as you will probably see many icky issues result from this mix.



              That is a good point.

              On our end, our users generate the content in Word, but the help developers take the content and copies it into a RoboHelp project. Copy and paste only brings over the text. I have to reapply the formatting within RoboHelp. It's more work on our end, but it's a smoother transition for the authors. They are proficient in Word (mostly) and don't need to learn anything about HTML files, which can be daunting for some users.

              If you have a strict style definition in your CSS, you could go this route. Just remember that if the content requires bold-facing or italicizing, you'd have to apply that. But if it's a lot of formatting or a lot ot tables, this may not work. And let me reiterate that: Tables suck. You can't just copy from Word to RoboHelp except for one cell at a time. If the change I receive is a small table, I'll sludge through it. If it's a large table, I take my chances with importing the Word document (I should try saving at HTML to see if it's any better).

              Kevin
              • 4. Re: R$obohelp x5 htmlhelp word ... what?
                RoboWizard Level 4
                Hi Kevin

                I also avoided doing the copy/paste Hokey Pokey from Word to RoboHelp HTML. My reasons were because it was quite common for the text to try and carry forth the attributes from Word. My solution? One of two methods.

                1. Save as an ASCII text file from Word, then bring that in.
                or
                2. Copy from Word, paste into a running instance of Windows Notepad, then copy from Notepad and paste into RoboHelp HTML.

                Cheers... Rick
                • 5. Re: R$obohelp x5 htmlhelp word ... what?
                  Kevin Elmore Level 1
                  quote:

                  Originally posted by: RoboWizard
                  I also avoided doing the copy/paste Hokey Pokey from Word to RoboHelp HTML. My reasons were because it was quite common for the text to try and carry forth the attributes from Word. My solution?


                  Hmm, I've not seen that problem. It may just be because the Word files aren't very complex. Most everything we publish could be done in the simpler Wordpad. It used to vex me before that it didn't copy the formatting over, but I've grown accustomed to it. In fact, I work with it now. Before I paste, I'll format the paragraph first (usually by applying a style). I even have the Hokey Pokey of copying a numbered list by applying the Normal style in Word (removing the numbers), copying the list, setting up a numbered list in RoboHelp, and pasting the clean list over.

                  So, I guess I'm just lucky to not run into problems with attributes assigned by Word.

                  Or maybe I'm not. I admit I haven't looked in my HTML code. I should do an experiment to see how the code looks when I paste over plain ASCII and when I copy over a heavily formatted Word string. Just because it doesn't look screwed up doesn't mean it isn't. I must go investigate.

                  Kevin